The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt has set aside the Federal High Court (FHC) judgement nullifying the primaries that produced all the Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Rivers State in next year’s General Elections.
Recall that aggrieved members of the APC loyal to a former Guber aspirant in the party, Magnus Abe had challenged their exclusion from the Congresses of the Party.
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The plaintiffs: George Orlu, Henry Wali & 3 Ors approached the FHC asking the Court to nullify the delegate congresses viz-a-viz all the primaries of the APC therein with regards to State Houses of Assembly elections, House of Representatives, Senate and Governorship election for the 2023 general elections slated for the 25th of February and the 11th day of March, 2023.
The brief facts of the case are that the Plaintiffs (George Orlu & 4 Ors), who claimed to be members of the APC in Rivers State, challenged the delegate elections of the 1st Defendant (APC) on the ground that despite paying for the nomination forms, they were not issued any forms for the elections and therefore prayed the court to set aside the DELEGATE elections of the APC conducted on the 18th and 19th of May, 2022 .
On October 25, Justice Emmanuel Adema Obile of the FHC in Port Harcourt nullified all primary elections conducted by the Party in Rivers State over the unlawful exclusion of some party members as delegates to the primaries.
The APC is presenting aspirants in the following positions:- Governor, Deputy Governor, 3 Senatorial seats, 13 House of Representatives seats and 32 State House of Assembly seats.
Dissatisfied with the rulings of the trial Court, the aggrieved Parties in Suit Nos: CA/PH/505/2022 (Nwankwo Ndubuisi Ozojie & 47 Ors v. George Orlu & 7 Ors) and CA/PH/521/2022 (INEC v. George Orlu & 6 Ors) approached the penultimate Court.
In a unanimous decision, the three-man panel of the Appeal Court led by Justice Muhammed Lawal Shuaibu JCA, upheld the submissions of the appellants and restored all APC Candidates back on the ballot.
All issues resolved in favour of Appellant, appeal allowed, Judgment of the lower Court set aside and a cost of N500, 000.00 in favour of the Appellants against the 1st-6th Respondents.
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